13 Food Hazards for Dogs and Other Pets


People Foods, Not Pet Foods

It’s tempting to feed your dog assorted scraps from the table. But some people foods can be hazardous and potentially deadly to pets. Keep these 13 foods away from your pet – and don’t forget to tell kids to do the same.

1. Alcoholic beverages

Alcoholic beverages

It doesn’t take much alcohol to intoxicate a dog or cat. Animals may stagger and urinate uncontrollably. In high doses, alcohol suppresses the central nervous system and breathing.

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2. Avocado

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Persin, a toxin found in the avocado plant, can be deadly to birds. The bigger risk for dogs and cats is swallowing the large, round avocado seed.

3. Chocolate

chocolate brownie recipe

Methylxanthines in chocolate, such as theobromine and caffeine, are toxic to dogs and cats. Baker’s chocolate and dark chocolate pose the biggest problem, but beware of other forms of chocolates too. You may notice signs such as vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, abnormal heart rhythm and seizures.

4. Coffee, Soda and Energy Drinks

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Keep your cup of joe, soda and energy drink away from your pet. Like chocolate, they contain methylated xanthines (such as caffeine) that within several hours can cause vomiting, restlessness, heart palpitations and worse.

5. Tea

Drink green tea

Teas containing caffeine can pose a hazard, too.

6. Macadamia nuts

Macadamia nuts

Within 12 hours of ingesting macadamia nuts, dogs may vomit and become weak and uncoordinated. They may also experience fever and tremors.

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7. Yeast dough

Yeast dough

Raw bread dough made with yeast may cause bloated stomach, metabolic abnormalities and central nervous system depression.

8. Raisins and grapes


All types of raisin and grape products, including juices, pose serious risks to dogs and possibly other pets. Even small amounts can be harmful. Dogs develop vomiting and/or diarrhea within 12 hours and kidney failure within a few days.

9. Salt and Salty Foods

Salt and Salty Foods

Salt is quite poisonous to dogs and cats. Keep your pet away from cooking salt, homemade play dough, rock salt, paint balls, table salt, sea water and other sources. Signs to watch for: vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, tremors, fluid accumulation and seizures.

10. Onions


Large amounts of onion can cause gastrointestinal irritation and may lead to red blood cell damage. Cats are more susceptible, but dogs, particularly Japanese breeds (e.g., Akita, Shiba Inu), are also at risk.

11. Garlic


Like onions, garlic can lead to stomach upset and red blood cell damage.

12. Fatty foods

breakfast foods

When dogs have a fatty or greasy snack, it can inflame the pancreas causing profuse diarrhea, vomiting and stomach pain.

13. Products sweetened with xylitol

Products sweetened with xylitol

These can include chewing gum, candy, breath fresheners, pudding, gelatin and more made with the sugar substitute. In dogs, ingestion of more than 0.1 gram/kg can cause life-threatening low blood sugar within 15 minutes.

Get Help Immediately

If you think that your pet may have ingested a potentially poisonous substance, call an Animal Poison Control Center, such as ASPCA (888) 426-4435. A consultation fee may be charged.

I'm Johan, a Freelance Content Creator & Content Writer from Bath, helping brands and businesses connect with their ideal clients.

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